Prep 1 hr
Cook 8 hrs
The tamarind is native to tropical Africa and grows wild throughout the Sudan. It was introduced into India so long ago; it has often been reported as indigenous there also. It is extensively cultivated in tropical areas of the world. Sometime during the sixteenth century, it was introduced into America and today is widely grown in Mexico. I have a friend from Mexico who always has a pitcher of "fresca" in the fridge. Not the soft drink in a can, but a lovely, light fruit drink of some sort. Very refreshing. The cook time is the soaking time.
- 1 lb whole tamarind pulp, pods
- hot water
- 2 quarts water
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar or 1 1⁄2 cups honey
- Cover tamarind pods with hot water.
- Let stand 1 hour; drain.
- Rinse and drain.
- Remove pods, stems and strings from tamarinds.
- Place pods in 2 quarts of water.
- Let stand at least 8 hours or overnight; strain, reserving liquid.
- Press as much tamarind pulp as possible through a sieve.
- Mix pulp, reserved liquid and the sugar or honey.
- Heat just until the sugar or honey melts.
- Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve over ice.
I cheat using tamarind concentrate which I can find at my local chinese supermarket. Speeds the process up considerably. Tamarind has a very refreshing taste.